SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 05:20:10 Eastern Daylight Time

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of NCB insurance Company Limited

 Richard Francis
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5152

Anthony McSwieney
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5715
Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK - SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 05:20:10 Eastern Daylight Time
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of B (Fair) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “bb” of NCB Insurance Company Limited (NCBIC) (Jamaica). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. NCBIC’s direct banking parent is National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited, which is traded on the Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago stock exchanges.

The ratings reflect NCBIC’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as adequate, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). NCBIC provides the Jamaica market primarily with universal and creditor life insurance products, disability and critical illness products and retirement products sold through its banking parent. The company’s balance sheet strength reflects its high concentration of sovereign debt and long-duration instruments and exposure to interest rate risks, offset by the absence of financial leverage and low reinsurance leverage. In addition, a majority of its invested asset portfolio is composed of Government of Jamaica bonds, the creditworthiness of which is categorized as below investment grade.

The company’s historical trends of strong operating performance is driven by the high yields associated with the company’s fixed income portfolio and resulting healthy spread income, along with underwriting profit derived from its life and health insurance businesses. While NCBIC has demonstrated a favorable operating profile, the company’s operations are concentrated in Jamaica, which AM Best categorizes as a country risk tier four (CRT-4).

The CRT-4 tier denotes a stressed economic environment with significant economic, financial and political headwinds that places strain on wages and employment, which in turn has the potential to constrain NCBIC’s potential future growth. Despite these challenges, AM Best notes that NCBIC has demonstrated a history of stable financial performance and expects the company to maintain this stable financial and operating profile going forward.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency and information provider with an exclusive focus on the insurance industry.

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